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NELHA PRESS RELEASE: NELHA Announces Three New Business Startups at Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

KAILUA-KONA – The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) announced today that it has signed long-term leases with Hawaii Kai Technologies and Forever Oceans.  In addition, EnKon Hawaii LLC has recently begun manufacturing operations converting resin into preforms for the beverage industry throughout the State.

“I am pleased that NELHA is building momentum in the marine and energy sectors,” said Governor David Ige. “These new companies, along with existing tech park businesses, employ hundreds of people and contribute over $120 million to the state’s economy.”

Hawaii Kai Technologies is an established and renowned firm that specializes in gourmet salts from Molokai since 2003. Hawaii Kai is expected to start production of deep-sea salt and its valuable byproduct, desalinated water, at NELHA’s HOST Park by November 2015. According to George Joseph, Hawaii Kai’s CEO, “The company uses proprietary technology to produce award winning salt products that have attracted the attention of top chefs around the world and well known personalities such as Jay Leno and Martha Stewart.”

Gregory Barbour, NELHA Executive Director, said, “We have been chasing these folks as long as I can remember and we were finally able to negotiate a long-term deal with them. We are excited that Hawaii Kai has chosen to expand its business at NELHA and produce unique products from the deep sea water we pump from a depth of 3,000 feet.”

Barbour added, “The Hawaii Kai project is a direct result of NELHA’s efforts to attract diverse commercial enterprises that will make use of the agency’s unique resources and contribute to the diversification of West Hawai‘i’s economy.”

Another startup business at HOST Park is Forever Oceans, a corporation formed to commercialize open-ocean aquaculture. Lockheed Martin teamed up with Kampachi Farms, an existing NELHA client, to form Forever Oceans and take the two companies’ initial collaborative R&D work to the next level. The new sublease, on approximately 6.8 acres, will allow Forever Oceans to proceed with commercial demonstrations in waters off of Keauhou and elsewhere in the world. According Neil Anthony Sims, CSO of Forever Oceans, “I have been at NELHA with various startups for the past 25 years. NELHA has developed a very supportive ecosystem which has helped us achieve our recent success.”

Recent additions to the park’s resident clients even include a manufacturing company, Enkon Hawaii LLC, which specializes in fabricating preforms for the beverage industry. The company will export about half of its product back to the beverage industry on O‘ahu. Barbour said, “We are excited about bringing a manufacturing company with about 10 employees to the neighbor islands and we are happy the company selected HOST Park.”

About NELHA: NELHA administers the world’s premier energy and ocean technology park. This unique master-permitted park is located on 870 acres of prime coastal property in Kailua-Kona Hawaii and offers research support facilities for the development of renewable energy and other demonstration projects that utilize the unique resources found at the park. It is the world’s only facility that continually brings ashore high quality, pristine supplies of both warm surface and cold deep seawater 24 hours a day which allows for various tests to take place with views to reap economic potentials from the dual temperature seawater delivery system and high solar insolation. Businesses located in HOST Park work at the pre-commercial, commercial, research and educational levels. It is the largest diversified economic development project in the State and is solely focused on developing green economic projects. More information on NELHA can be found at


For more information, contact:

Gregory Barbour

NELHA Executive Director


[email protected]